Trademark Counterfeiting, Product Piracy, and the Billion Dollar Threat to the U.S. Economy

By Paul R. Paradise | Go to book overview

Preface

During 1995 and 1996 the United States nearly imposed trade sanctions on the People's Republic of China for the piracy of U.S.-owned copyrights for music, computer software, and motion pictures by the Chinese. Only the signing of an agreement by the Chinese in both years regarding greater protection of intellectual property avoided an all-out trade war.

The trade dispute underscored how serious a problem the counterfeiting of trademarks and the piracy of copyrights and patents had become. Under the old English common law, the crime was called "palming off." What the counterfeiter does is to steal the goodwill and brand name recognition inherent in a brand or trademark by attaching a counterfeit brand to his product and palming it off as the genuine article. Stealing the brand is as old as human commerce, but in modern times, the globalization of the economy and advances in technology have led to an explosion in counterfeit products. Prescription pills, automobile and airplane parts, heart pumps, garments, and a multitude of consumer products have been counterfeited and palmed off as the real product.

In modern times, the U.S. business community has become the principal victim of the explosive growth of counterfeit products. Product counterfeiting is a business crime. The emergence of the United States as the dominant world economy has had the unfortunate consequence of making its products the ones most often counterfeited. According to the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), an international trade group based in Washington, D.C., the U.S. economy lost $200 billion in 1995 due to counterfeit products. This figure is nearly twice the figure for the European Common Market, with estimated losses in revenues of $135 billion in 1995.

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Trademark Counterfeiting, Product Piracy, and the Billion Dollar Threat to the U.S. Economy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Trademark Counterfeiting 1
  • Notes 19
  • 2 - The Worldwide Threat 21
  • Notes 40
  • 3 - The Trade Dispute with the People's Republic of China 41
  • Notes 70
  • 4 - The Knockoff 73
  • Notes 93
  • 5 - Street Peddlers and Flea Markets 95
  • Notes 110
  • 6 - Pursuing the Counterfeiters 111
  • 7 - The Entertainment Industries 127
  • Notes 173
  • 8 - The Pill Pirates 175
  • Notes 202
  • 9 - Nuts and Bolts 205
  • Notes 229
  • 10 - Piracy in Cyberspace 231
  • Notes 246
  • 11 - Public Education 247
  • Notes 257
  • Selected Readings 259
  • Index 261
  • About the Author 270
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